What is AHSQC?
The Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative (AHSQC) aims to improve the value in hernia care delivered to patients. Formed in 2013 by hernia surgeons in private practice and academic settings, the AHSQC utilizes concepts of continuous quality improvement to improve outcomes and optimize costs. This is accomplished through patient-centered data collection, ongoing performance feedback to clinicians, and improvement based on analysis of collected data and collaborative learning. The AHSQC fulfills the Americas Hernia Society mission of providing the right operation for the right patient and the right time.
- AHSQC Medical Director: Michael J. Rosen, MD, FACS Professor of Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Comprehensive Hernia Center
- AHSQC Director for Quality and Outcomes: Benjamin K. Poulose, MD, MPH, FACS Associater Professor of Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
- Coordinating Center: Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Nashville, TN
- Coordinating Organization: Americas Hernia Society
Who uses the Software?
The software is used by a number of individuals:
- Care Coordinators
- Professional Society Members
- Hernia Centers
How much does it Cost?
- Participation is FREE.
- Maintaining this as a free resource for surgeons depends directly on participation - the more surgeons participate, the higher chance this will remain free.
- Enable transition to shared accountability care/payment models
- Peer and institutional comparison review to improve the quality and safety of care
- Enable longitudinal outcomes analysis and reporting
- Enable mitigation of clinical and cost variations
- Provides best practices, decision support and care pathways to enhance patient care and safety
- Allows organizations to make decisions that improve surgical care, increase throughput and deliver quick ROI
- Improve quality of hernia care by improving outcomes and decreasing costs
- The AHSQC fufills the American Board of Surgery requirement for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part 4
- All members of the AHSQC will meet on a quarterly basis to review collected data and improve practice.
- Members will be expected to attend at least three of the four meetings each year to remain within the Collaborative.
- Quarter 1 - March Collaborative meeting at the Americas Hernia Society Annual Meeting
- Quarter 2 - June Collaborative conference call
- Quarter 3 - October Collaborative meeting at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress
- Quarter 4 - December Collaborative conference call
How do I Join the AHSQC?
- You must first be a member of the AHS. If you are not yet a member, go to www.americanherniasociety.org and fill out the membership application.
- To join the AHSQC, go to www.ahsqc.org or click here
What type of Patients can I enter?
- The focus of the AHSQC will be to enter information on all ventral and inguinal hernia patients including umbilical, epigastric, Spiegelian, lumbar, incisional, and parastomal hernias
- You should only enter patients in whom you plan to perform an operation for their ventral or inguinal hernia.
What Patient Information is Collected?
- Patient demographics
- Preoperative evaluation
- Operative details
- 30-day follow-up
- Patient-entered long-term follow-up
- Surgeon-entered long-term follow-up
What Data Collection/Integration is available?
- Because the AHSQC registry will be collecting many variables not typically captured by EMRs, most sites will use the web-based interface for entering data manually.
- Planned future capabilities include automatic transmission of pertinent EMR information to the AHSQC platform based on a predefined HL7 format.
- AHSQC can make each site’s entire dataset available for separate analysis.
Can Data be Exported?
The clinician views the data through a variety of dashboard reports, which are updated in real-time. These reports / data can also be exported to external systems or downloaded directly to an Excel document. Please be aware that dowbloading information in this manner may include protected health information depending on your selections for export. Please follow your local institutional or practice policies regarding proper handling of protected health information.
How do you Measure Performance/Quality?
The AHSQC solution is configured to analyze and report on key metrics for a particular specialty procedure. Examples of metrics are as follows: complications; outcomes; resource utilization; and adherence to guidelines. This empowers process improvement by:
- Providing rigorous, timely feedback to clinicians about comparative performance
- Identifying and implementing best practices
- View both benchmarking to peer institutions, and drill down at the local level to individual patient data
Is this a Research Project?
The AHSQC is not a research project; it is a national quality improvement effort.
Is Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval Required?
- In most instances, IRB approval is not required as the AHSQC is a quality improvement effort.
- Surgeons should check with their institutions regarding administrative approvals to enter data into the AHSQC.
How Do I Access Data for Resarch?
- Data collected for quality improvement purposes in the AHSQC can be used for research in certain circumstances.
- Any use of AHSQC data for research purposes should involve either your local or private Institutional Review Board (IRB) or the IRB of the AHSQC Data Coordination Center.
- AHSQC surgeons and individually approved personnel can access your own patients' data any time for research by direct download from the AHSQC user interface. Please be aware that downloading information in this manner may include protected health information depending on your selections for export. Please follow your local insitutional or practice policies regarding proper handling of protected health information.
- AHSQC surgeons can request summary analyzed research data for all AHSQC patients by clicking here. The request is approved by the AHSQC Data Use and Publications Committee and analysis performed in parternship between the requesting surgeon or group and the AHSQC Data Coordination Center. Currently this service is provided free of charge to AHSQC surgeons in good standing.
- Members of industry and researcher can also request summary analyzed research data by clicking here. Individual fees may apply.
What Procedure Codes are associated with the current operations captured in the AHSQC?
Who is ArborMetrix?
ArborMetrix is AHSQC’s strategic technology partner for the quality collaborative registry and reporting system. ArborMetrix, Inc., based in Ann Arbor, Mich., is a healthcare analytics and software firm specializing in quality measurement, cost-efficiency and performance improvement for surgical and other acute hospital and specialty-based care. The company focuses on developing rigorous data analysis and actionable business intelligence solutions that raise the bar on quality, performance, utilization and costefficiency for hospitals, health systems, specialty societies, quality collaboratives and health plans. ArborMetrix’s unique, cloud-based technology evolved from ground-breaking research by the company founders on improving the quality of surgical care and econometric performance measurement. For more information visit www.arbormetrix.com.
AHSQC Informational Videos
The AHSQC has created multiple videos to help show you, as an AHSQC participant, how to enter data and maneuver around the site. Click on the video title to watch the video.
AHSQC 2017 Updates for Patient Entry
The AHSQC has updated the web platform as of January 2017. We will now be entering information on ventral and inguinal hernias.
AHSQC Ventral Hernia Patient Entry
Find out how much time it takes to enter a ventral hernia patient from start to finish.